Play your normal game, Morné Steyn tells newbies ahead of semi
Young Bulls advised to keep calm and enjoy themselves in clash with the Lions
Experienced Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn has implored the young players to avoid being overwhelmed by the big occasion when they face the Lions in the semifinal of the Currie Cup at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (2pm).
Steyn, Cornal Hendricks‚ captain Duane Vermeulen‚ Trevor Nyakane and Lizo Gqoboka will lead a youthful Bulls side as they bid for a place in the final against either Western Province or the Sharks.
“I think a lot of the guys who are playing on Saturday haven’t played in a semifinal before‚ so it’s a big day for a lot of them‚” said Steyn.
“I know everyone is ready after what has been a long season‚ they must just take it as another game and enjoy the moment. We have told them to go out there and do what they have done the whole season‚ that’s been part of our build-up the whole week.
“It is important to train the same way and do the same things. We actually told the guys last week already that it is the semifinals‚ but we don’t have to change anything in our preparations. We just go on as we have done the whole season because that’s what got us to the semifinals‚ and maybe it will pull us through.
“It is also about keeping calm and enjoying the moment because when the week is finished‚ the semifinals will be finished.”
Steyn is part of the squad announced by coach Jake White on Thursday which sees Stravino Jacobs retain his spot on the leftwing with David Kriel returning to fullback as part of the revamped backline.
Hendricks and Stedman Gans resume their successful partnership in the midfield and Kurt-Lee Arendse will continue his attacking form on the rightwing‚ while Ivan van Zyl and Steyn continue with their halfback pairing.
Among the forwards skipper Vermeulen will be in charge of the back of the scrum, alongside Elrigh Louw and Marco van Staden as blindside and openside flank respectively.
Sintu Manjezi has been named at No 4 lock with Ruan Nortjé continuing as line-out co-ordinator. Schalk Erasmus will have the confidence of knowing his role at hooker will be aided by two Springbok props in Gqoboka and Nyakane.
“We have reached the business end of the Currie Cup and I must commend our entire squad on getting us to this point. Every player in our ranks has contributed to our cause with enthusiasm and a never-say-die attitude‚” said coach White.
“Focusing on this weekend has been in our minds for the last two weeks and we have done all we can in terms of preparation. We know how to win and we have to do just that against a team that has pushed us each time we’ve played them‚” he said.
Bulls: David Kriel‚ Kurt-Lee Arendse‚ Stedman Gans‚ Cornal Hendricks‚ Stravino Jacobs‚ Morné Steyn‚ Ivan van Zyl‚ Duane Vermeulen (captain)‚ Elrigh Louw‚ Marco van Staden‚ Ruan Nortjé‚ Sintu Manjezi‚ Trevor Nyakane‚ Schalk Erasmus‚ Lizo Gqoboka
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